I want to share a career story about Emet, who is blending being an artist and a healing arts professional. I love sharing real-life stories of introverts and HSPs, like Emet, who are doing meaningful work, with a sense of balance and purpose, and making a living that way.
Meet Emet Aron
Emet has two businesses that both express an underlying purpose around healing and affirming. Together the two businesses create a nice whole, like a yin/yang balance.
Bug Theory Arts:
Pen & ink, watercolor, etching, comics 🎨🖊
Gender, nature, feelings, myth 🌈🌻🧚🏻
(With a graphic novel in the works!)
Massage therapy and healing: “mindful, trauma-informed massage, energy work, and deep tissue for all bodies.”
Emet identifies as “a Jewish, transmasculine, white person.” Emet uses they/them pronouns.
I’ve known Emet for years, originally through a meditation center where Emet was one of the practice leaders (at a younger than typical age). Emet reminds me of an old soul who is full of laughter and depth all in the same moment. Such a joy to be around.
My Interview with Emet about Their Journey
Now let’s get into some background about their career and self-employment journey. Inside views can help us find our own way.
Emet and I recorded some interviews, full of laughs, that are available in a video inside my course, Bridge to Self-employment. (I also interviewed Emet about finding one’s purpose, and that video is inside my Career Clarity Course.)
I’ve captured some highlights from the interviews below.
Where are things at today with your work?
Emet: Basically, I just moved into a new studio, with a space for massage and a space for art, and I poured my heart into making it beautiful. I already feel so at home, and integrated, and happy in there.
It’s allowing these parts of myself to come together, and feed each other, and to help me bring my whole self to the massage room.
And I’m steadily working on a graphic novel called Bug Theory about the courage to transition into my full self, with the help of some bugs, who show that we can all use what’s different about us to thrive in a unique way.
What helps you maintain a sense of balance and well-being?
Emet: Meditation, exercise, peer counseling. Having little meetings with other creatives about our goals, and any obstacles that are coming up. Listening to podcasts about the creative process. Taking classes.
Let’s talk about fear and courage, especially as an artist putting your personal vision into the world. How has that been for you?
Emet: [This post from Emet’s Instagram says it well.]
View this post on Instagram
Let’s talk specifically about self-employment. Why did you decide on self-employment?
Emet: It seemed necessary, honestly. I don’t fit into the boxes very well, so I need to make my own environments to work in. Later, when COVID first happened and I couldn’t make a living doing massage for a while, I thought maybe I should get a job, but most of what I saw out there made me think, “Oh God I don’t want to do that job, so I better figure out how to make my own thing happen.” And with a few pivots, I made it work again.
What do you wish you knew before you started with self-employment?
Emet: How much of it is about emotional regulation and building relationships of mutual support.
People worry a lot about financial instability with self-employment. How do you make it work?
Emet: Yeah, lately I’ve been feeling really good about letting massage create financial stability for me, so that I can make whatever art I want without pressure.
How have you found clients in ways that work for your energy?
Emet: My massage practice is all based on word of mouth. My business model has always been to do the best job I can on every massage, and hope that people will come back, and tell their friends. That has worked really well, although it took a while to build up. These days I have more clients than I can handle!
For art, I’m still figuring that out. Most people who have bought my art are people that I know personally, often massage clients, actually. I’m also sharing it on social media, and I think there’s more potential to grow there.
Lessons from Emet’s Story…
Everyone is unique but there are things we can learn from everyone’s story. I hear at least 5 great lessons in their story:
- You can find a way to express your gifts in multiple ways, while still finding a sense of balance and wholeness.
- It takes time to find the right balance for energy, purpose, and income, but it’s worth holding your compass in that direction and keep going.
- Self-employment has a lot to do with emotional regulation and building relationships of mutual support. (Something introverts and HSPs can be great at.)
- Putting pressure on your art to bring in all the income can be hard on the art-making process, but there are ways to support it that feel good and meaningful too.
- Social media can be a great way to get your visual art out there, but it’s often not necessary for a service-based business like massage.
I’m enjoying these inspiring stories from introverts and HSPs living their purpose. I like hearing all the details of how they make it work. More coming soon. You can subscribe below.
Wondering about your own path?
You might like these resources:
- Career Clarity Course for Introverts and HSPs. (A place to get clear on your values, strengths, and how it all fits together.)
- Self-employment needs to be easier.
- Course: Bridge to Self-employment